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6 Ways to Find Adventure

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Outdoor mountains and dog

Mix up your daily routine with these simple-yet-novel experiences. Most are accessible any time of year and can be done in your own backyard or community. 

For many people, the word “adventure” conjures images of trekking the Himalayas or crossing the ocean in a kayak. But adventure starts with your state of mind. Even small forays into the unknown — chatting with a stranger in the checkout line or exploring a new trail on your daily run — can bring a sense of richness to life.

“If you haven’t got time to climb Everest, it’s better to sleep on top of a local hill under the stars than to do nothing at all,” says microadventure advocate Alastair Humphreys. “You can swim in a river, go for a full-moon walk up a hill, or make breakfast in the woods one weekend. Or, you can simply go to your backyard and climb a tree! When is the last time you did that?”

Here are a few more ways you can have an adventure every day:

  • Drive a new route to work. Go a few blocks out of your way during your morning commute. And on the way home, check out that gallery you’ve been wondering about.
  • Pitch a tent in your own backyard. Grab a mate, a kid, or a pal and spend the night under the stars.
  • Take a risk. Ask out that gorgeous someone you’ve had a crush on for months. Attend a class in public speaking. Dine solo in a fancy restaurant. Do something, however small it seems, that falls just outside your comfort zone.
  • Get dirty. Engage in an activity that gets you muddy, greasy, smeared, splattered, or otherwise immersed in the task or treat at hand. Let your kids set the example!
  • Explore new conversational territory. Relationships are incredibly fertile ground for everyday adventures. Ask someone about the three most pivotal experiences of his or her life. Reveal an embarrassing adolescent experience of your own. (Find more tips on improving face-to-face exchanges in “The Art of the Conversation.”)
  • Swap your answers. Say “yes!” to an invitation or request you’d normally decline. Say “no” to something that’s practically routine. The results may surprise you.